Happy May Day 2021

“April showers bring May flowers” was my favorite season as a kid. I have always enjoyed rainstorms, no matter how severe, and May was full of blooms and new growth after all of the April storms.

Here we are starting another month, fresh and that is good reason to smile. Another month, another week, another day. It’s a good day for a good day!

Did you know that this was a day that was celebrated by the International Worker’s day in the late 19th century? In fact, it was chosen by the Socialists and Communists of the Second International to commemorate the Hamarket affair in Chicago. Well, that does not sound like an event worthy of keeping it a tradition, but whatever. 

The earliest May Day was the Festival of Flora, the Roman goddess of flowers, that was held during the Roman Republic era. But, in the Germanic countries it was with the Walpurgis Night. The Gaelic Beltane was on April 30th and in the European pagan cultures it was a traditional summer holiday. So, in other words, it does not originate from any one region. It was probably a chosen day because it was the end of harsh winters and the beginning of beautiful colors and warmer months. But, that is just me making an assumption from the scattered details of traditions. 

And, then of course you have the Christians who materialized out of thin air and took over May Day as a secular celebration. Okay, most of that last sentence was my snarky take on the boring details, but I have no idea what a secular celebration was. I assume an annual dunking of the sinners into a holy body of water to cleanse souls.. or something. 

Today is a very important day in Germany because it is one of several days where St. Walburga, who is to blame for Christianity arriving in Germany, is celebrated. 

One tradition that is associated with May Day is the dancing of the May Pole. Basically, people circle around a pole, like “ring around the posey” (or was it rosey?) You know, a group would hold hands and walk in a circle chanting “ring around (something). At any rate, do you suppose that is where that came from? 

As generations have come and gone, things change and now instead of pole dancing they give May Baskets. Now, that is something that I could get behind because I love flowers! Starting next year we should all give flowers on May Day… and I will take them all. LOL. 

Happy religious day to you and yours!